Alternative forms of insurance you need to know about now

Think you need travel insurance? Think again.

You might require something else — either a specialized insurance product that protects only one aspect of your trip, or something that isn’t insurance at all.

Call it alt insurance

No, we’re not about to get political. Alt insurance is real and it can protect you regardless of ideological leanings. Sometimes, it isn’t insurance at all, but a different form of protection.

Alt insurance for your car rental

If you just want to protect your rental car, and nothing else, you don’t have to buy a whole travel insurance policy. A company like Insuremyrentalcar.com can undercut car rental companies and online agencies with less expensive policies. Rates start at $5 per day, as well as per-trip policies that start at $17.50 or annual policies for $94. The policies offer loss damage waiver coverage of up to $100,000. “We’re giving car renters another choice,” says Ernesto Suarez, the CEO of Insuremyrentalcar.com.

Purchase luggage protection by itself

A new company called Blue Ribbon Bags, a delayed baggage service, charges $5 per passenger. If an airline loses your luggage, the service will help locate and expedite delivery of the checked bag. If it’s lost more than 96 hours, it will pay $1,000 per bag. “Our service must be purchased prior to departure via your travel agent, online agency or our website,” explains Gabriel Menkin, Blue Ribbon’s CEO.

Get airline ticket protection

That’s the idea behind AirCare, an insurance product offered by Berkshire Hathaway. It’s dead simple. Starting at $34 for domestic air travel, AirCare protects you for specific incidents, such as a tarmac delay, loss of luggage or a missed connection. For example, if your domestic flight is canceled, AirCare will pay you $150. If you miss a domestic connection, you get $100. Baggage delayed by more than 12 hours? That’s $500. Claims are handled five times faster than normal, making them virtually instantaneous.

Or get a “free” ticket

A similar product, Freebird, promises to let you skip the line and instantly book a new ticket after a flight cancellation, significant delay, or missed connection. Just buy its protection plan, which starts at $19, and if your flight is disrupted — which it defines as a flight cancellation, a delay of more than four hours, or a missed connection due to a delay — Freebird will pay for a new flight on any airline at no extra charge, or, in Freebird’s words, for “free.”

Buy a security membership

A company like Medjet can cover an event that travel insurance might not. Medjet has access to a global fleet of more than 250 private air ambulances that can transport members to a home hospital if they’re hospitalized more than 150 miles from home. A one-year individual membership, which includes overseas coverage, costs $270, which is less than one-third the cost of an annual travel insurance policy. For $419 per year, Medjet can also add crisis response coverage to a wide variety travel security issues, including disappearance, political threat, kidnapping, terrorism, natural disaster and more. Also, it’s faster than insurance. A membership program pays for everything up front, so you don’t have to wait for a claim to be processed. Also, many travel insurance policies don’t offer real-time support. Membership programs do.

A few important disclaimers: Review the terms of these protection offers very carefully, since they are more limited than traditional travel insurance. In fact, some of them aren’t travel insurance at all, so they aren’t regulated in the same way insurance would be.

Also, while these might be excellent supplements to travel insurance, they may not be the right choice for you. Check with your credit card to make sure you aren’t already covered for some of these eventualities. If you are, you could be buying too much insurance or protection, and that would be a waste of money.

Considerations

Finally, since I run one of the largest consumer advocacy sites, some of the companies I mentioned in this story are either current or former sponsors of my site. None of the businesses in this article are aware that I’m writing it or had any editorial control.

Like some things, “alt” insurance might be right for you, but not necessarily for everyone else.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend